Q: What services does the counselor provide for my student?
A: The school counselor provides services for ALL students by implementing a data-driven, comprehensive school counseling program that promotes the academic, social/emotional, and college/career development through the following activities:
Role of the Counselor
"Elementary school years set the tone for developing the knowledge, attitudes, and skill necessary for children to become healthy, competent and confident learners. Through a comprehensive developmental school counseling program, school counselors work as a team with the school staff, parents and the community to create a caring climate and atmosphere. By providing education, prevention, early identification, and intervention, school counselors can help all children achieve academic success. The professional elementary school counselor holds a master’s degree and required state certification in school counseling" (American School Counselor Association, 2014).
The mission of the Polk County School Counseling Program is to provide a comprehensive developmental program that meets the academic, career, and personal/social needs of all students. Counselors work on behalf of students, collaborating, advocating, and supporting students, families, and staff to ensure that all students receive a high-quality education that prepares them to become responsible productive citizens that are college and career ready.
Consultation is a key aspect in addressing the needs of the early adolescent student. As a consultant, the school counselor participates as an interdisciplinary team member, provides training for staff and parents on issues relevant to early adolescents, assists at parent conferences, and provides information to teachers about how to meet the needs of students experiencing academic and emotional problems. Counselors confer directly with teachers, parents, administrators and other helping professionals providing for the mutual sharing and analysis of information and ideas to assist in planning and implementing strategies to help students. Consultation may take place in individual or group conferences, during 504 or problem-solving teams, through staff development activities, or parent discussion sessions.
Through a series of planned classroom learning experiences, counselors deliver meaningful lessons targeting the personal/social, academic, and career development of students. This is a proactive, sequential developmental program that seeks to prevent problems by developing skills in areas such as communication, decision making, and empathy. The guidance program may focus on topics such as:
Individual counseling is provided on an as-needed basis for students experiencing difficulties with personal, social, and academic concerns. Counseling assists students in identifying problems, potential actions, and possible consequences so that students are empowered to make positive choices. School counseling is intended to be short-term and brief. Community referrals are available for students and families seeking additional support.
Small Group Counseling
Small group counseling provides students an opportunity to work with peers around a specific issue. Referrals for groups may come from students, school staff, and parents. Groups usually meet once a week for several weeks. Parent permission will be requested prior to convening a group. Sample group topics include changing families/divorce, friendship, and anger management.
The school counselor's role as coordinator involves managing various aspects of indirect services that help students succeed. Counselors serve as a liaison between teachers, parents, support personnel, and community resources to facilitate successful school development. This may include assisting parents in obtaining needed services for their children through a referral and follow-up process. They also serve as liaisons between school and community resources.
About the Counselor
"I'm Steven Filarecki, the school counselor at Combee Academy Elementary School. I have been an educator for 32 years, with experience ranging from elementary through high-school! I am a Michigan native, moving to Polk County and joining the Combee staff. I attended Oakland University in Michigan for my undergrad, earning a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education with a Math and Science double major. I completed my master's degree in School Counseling also at Oakland University, specializing in elementary counseling. My wife and I are enjoying Florida, especially going to the beach in our free time.
This is such an exciting time at Combee Academy! From Goats and Chickens to Science exploration and Math enrichment, our school offers and amazing opportunities! It is my goal to see all students engaged in becoming life long learners!
Please check back frequently for updates as this site aims to keep students, parents/guardians, and families informed on the comprehensive school counseling program at Combee Academy, and also to provide helpful resources!"